COLUMBUS, Ohio — The president of Ohio State University could be fired for any more verbal gaffes, trustees told him in a letter that said his mockery of Notre Dame, Roman Catholics and the Southeastern Conference have embarrassed and divided the university and run the risk of diminishing the effectiveness of its efforts.
Trustees warned Gordon Gee that comments or actions he makes detracting from Ohio State’s core values are not productive and are unacceptable, according to a copy of the March 11 letter obtained Friday by The Associated Press.
An AP report this week revealed remarks Gee made to the university’s Athletic Council in December, saying that Notre Dame wasn’t allowed to join the Big Ten because its leaders were not good partners. He said its Roman Catholic priests were “holy hell” on days other than Sunday and joked “those damn Catholics” can’t be trusted.
He also questioned the academic integrity of schools in the SEC, singling out the University of Kentucky.
Gee has apologized.
SEC MEETINGS: The conference held one of its shortest business meetings in league history Friday.
The conference wrapped up its annual spring meetings with presidents and chancellors not taking a single vote, quite possibly the first time that’s happened in the league’s 80-year history.
Presidents and chancellors delayed a decision about potentially moving to a nine-game league schedule. As expected, they agreed that 2014 and 2015 slates will follow the current 6-1-1 model, with teams playing six division opponents, one permanent, cross-division rival and one rotational game against the remaining six teams.
PENN STATE: The independent monitor of Penn State’s adherence to NCAA sanctions says the school is pressing forward “in good faith in fulfilling its obligations.”
Former U.S. Sen. George Mitchell delivered his third quarterly report Friday as the independent athletics integrity monitor. He cited the school’s appointments of an athletics integrity officer and an ethics and compliance director as highlights the past three months.
Mitchell took on the role after the NCAA slammed Penn State last summer with landmark penalties for the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal.
University president Rodney Erickson says Mitchell’s latest update validates the significant reforms over the past year.
The report comes a day after the family of former coach Joe Paterno and others connected to Penn State filed a lawsuit seeking to overturn the sanctions.